I've been running low of breast forms, especially in the 500g sizes, as COVID has caused some real challenges in the factory, but we're nearly there. Hurrah!
I hope that they will be with me in the week of 13th of July, subject to how quickly the delivery companies are working now. I've found that to be hit-and-miss during the lockdown, but hopefully with the easing things have improved. I shall get them all unboxed and checked over so they can go on my site as soon as I can.
I shall be restocking my normal sizes that are on the site, and adding the triangle shape in a 700g size for you (approximately a 38DD/40D/42C/44B/46A. These will be a great addition to those of you with bigger size bands who do not have a flat chest. Many of you find that the concave back of the triangle breast form allows them to sit and mould perfectly with your chest, whatever your shape. The 700g triangle will allow you to go up a cup size from the 600g pair in one simple swoop!
As the GDPR laws have been in effect now for 2 years, so I just wanted to give you an update as to how I handle your data now that I've settled into the routine.
Customer List Data:
After deliberately deleting my customer email list back then, I have had a lovely response with people choosing to opt-in. I don't email my customers unless I have something to say, so the last two were an end of 2019 email with new product news, links to my new guides etc, and then a COVID 19 email wishing you all well.
The email address list is managed by Mail Chimp, who store your data for me. I only keep your first name, surname and email address on their database if you have opted in.
I continue to use F-Secure to protect your data when I am editing things, for example, getting your order ready. I have this all all of my devices.
Downloading Your Data For My Accounts:
When I download my sales for my accounts, I download them into an excel file. The first thing I do I to delete all the columns with your name, address, phone number and email address. I then save the file, so the only data stored on my computer is the sale itself and not any of your personal data.
The Software I Use:
I use the same software to host my website and provide the checkout, Create. They are fully GDPR compliant and SSL secure.
I now use some software called Angel Books to help with my accounting. This software accesses your data to import the sale. The software itself runs on their servers rather than my computer, and uses their encryption technology
Angel Books uses HTTPS (secure HTTP) to encrypt all data from our servers to your browser. The servers are located in a secure data centre in Gloucester and have 24/7 security.
My payment providers World Pay and Paypal process your payments on their servers directly, and I do not have access to your card details at any point.
If you ever have any query about your data, just send me an email and I'll be happy to help.
I Can Help - With My Store Or Simply Chatting If Lonely.
These are certainly unusual and for many people tough times, but I hope you are all safely embedded at home and all your loved ones are safe too.
Things that I normally help you with have gone out the window. Weddings and parties have been canceled, going for a lovely meal/date night/night out with friends is on hold, but let's try and remember (especially when going stir crazy), it's not forever!
I'm here, with a little extra time than usual, so if you'd like to talk through immediate or future needs, just get in touch. Whether it be a postponed event that you are getting ready for, a bra or dress that never quite fitted, thoughts about a different shape breast form that might work for you or wondering about trying adhesives and the new shapes they come in. I'm here if you'd like to talk anything through and see what I can do to help. If you have any friends that are upset about a canceled event, please do forward it on, as just continuing to plan can help with mental well-being and feelings of normality.
If you are feeling mentally low about work, life or missing human contact. Just send me an email :) I'm a tiny business, who probably won't benefit from the government schemes much, so I'm feeling the strain too. I think I'm naturally quite realistic and pragmatic rather than pessimistic, but I still have had wobbles with all the uncertainty. I'm here if you want to talk through your emotional wobbles. No judgment, my best listening skills, advice only if you'd like it and as always, full discretion.
Sending you all healthy vibes.
P.S. Why can't pirates learn the alphabet? ...
Because they spend years at C!
I just wanted to give you an update on my situation and stance with regard to the outbreak.
I am on immune system supressing medication, so I take things very seriously. I follow hygiene rules carefully, and those around me do too. Your parcel will be packaged with clean fresh hands etc!
I work from home and this should hopefully keep me safe and enable me to continue to run my store without any problems, getting your lovely items to you as needed.
There may be delay in the postal service at this time, but hopefully this won't be too bad.
If someone in my household goes into self-isolation, I shall shut my store from posting as I work from home where they will now be, and could therefore be at risk. My partner works for a specialist on infectious diseases, who is advising the government at present, and I am aware we know little about the virus yet. It should not last long enough to reach you on one of my parcels if I was infected, but in order to protect the postal service and you, I will stop posting in case. I don't want to risk it for the sake of 2 weeks.
If this happens, I will pop banners over my site, notify on Facebook etc.
I hope you all stay healthy during this. Please please wash your hands well regularly and for longer, don't get too close to people in public if you can avoid it and stay away from super crowded places when you can.
As a side note, I suffer terribly from dry hands that crack and bleed ordinarily. I have found bar soap to be so much better for them and to have virtually stopped it. If you find your hands getting dry with the extra washing using liquid soap, make a swap to bar soap and you should find it much better.
I hope you had a lovely festive time and you still have some teeth left (mine are just hanging in there, with just some Matchmakers boxes to go). I made a 3-month planner for my life last year that I use to try and keep track, take stock, and move forward with the things I want to achieve. I just had the crazy thought that it might be a good idea if I share it for once! I have an accountability page, but I just give it to my partner, so here I am sharing it with the world this time. LET'S DO THIS JO.
So, I have 3 personal and 3 work goals for every 3 months that I chip away at. This time they are:
1. Get my stock software sorted. I started with a new software last year called Angel Books and I am still struggling to get it to work for me. I am going to get that really sorted one way or another, as this will help you guys with my stock levels and manufacturing of products.
2. I will sort out some advertising. I find this really hard to do, as I am so limited with time as a one-woman shop. I'm going to work on a plan for this so that I can keep the stock turning over and develop new products when needed.
3. I'm going to get my discount code scheme going. I think I have found a way to offer loyal customers codes for discounts, so I am going to find a way to integrate that to my store/newsletter. If you would like to hear about that when they come out, make sure you are signed up to my newsletter at the bottom of my home page. My goal should probably be to write 2 more newsletters, as I only managed 1 last year, but I'm sure I'll send one out when I get the codes going.
1. Build new storage in my wardrobe. Quite frankly it is shocking in there, I have to shove the door shut and therefore could do with a better storage system. Power tools here I come.
2. Learn to say no. I'm a people pleaser and this first 3 months of the year I am going to start with the retraining of my brain to keep that in check.
3. Build my personal chronic disease health workbook, to help me when my health is going off-kilter and I need support/positivity/a reminder that I'm only human.
If you want to be accountable to someone with your goals, feel free to email me in complete confidence. Warning though, I will check in on you!
Keeping my store environmentally friendly has always been something that I am passionate about.
I will always struggle with that the silicone breast enhancers themselves are not recyclable, but I hope this will change in the future, and it is why I work on making top-quality products. I don't like to go along the lines of other stores, with cheaper products, even if those cheaper prices do mean it attracts more customers. Instead, I would rather spend more in manufacturing the products, so I can not only make the manufacturing process as environmentally friendly as possible, but also make products that are designed to perform well and last as long as possible.
I do my best with small changes as often as I can make them:
I have always recycled all the business waste possible.
I moved to fully recyclable Jo Thornton labels in 2011
Not long after I introduced recyclable tissue paper packaging as the packaging that most of my products go out in. I knew that most customers would not doubt that they could recycle tissue paper and paper recycling is on of the things we are best at out of all recycling types.
I added natural cotton organza bags and fully recyclable cardboard boxes as other product options, later that year, rather than plastic based bags.
In 2013 I made my fashion tape rolls have recyclable backing and a recyclable inner roll.
I took active steps in 2014 to audit all my storage and I now only use cardboard and wooden storage in all my storage areas.
My mailing bags have always been recyclable for the bigger sizes and biodegradable for the smaller sizes. Technology has moved on in this area, so I am working with a factory to make bags just for me that will dissolve to Co2, water and eco-friendly biomass. They will use vegetable inks and there will be no residue left of the bag but those compounds, and this is the most eco-friendly option that is available. These are nearly finalised and will be packaging your goodies very soon.
My next steps:
My next step is to look at the bags that all my tapes come in. The problem that I have is that the tape is adhesive, so I am unable to use a paper or cotton based back as the tape will remove some of that packaging and be hard for you to remove. I am going to try other biodegradable plastic types to see if I can get one that ticks all the boxes.
I will also continue to check for biodegradable jiffy bags. At the moment the only ones available are the padded bags with shredded paper in and these are often not recyclable as the fibres clog the machines when they break open. I will keep checking to find a bag where the bubble wrap lining is made of biodegradable plastic, or see if some other options appear as an option. For now, I will try to use cardboard boxes whenever possible, but as these are around 6 times the price, it can be very difficult whilst keeping my prices low for my customers.
I am glad to see the sway in thinking towards protecting the environment and I will always do all I can to do the best I can.
The breast form stock situation has been going on longer than I wanted it to, so I just want to update you all about where I am at.
I decided a couple of months ago to make some changes to my breast forms shapes, and to increase the thickness of the back on the breast forms in order to help with using the tape with them. I thought this would be like one of my normal tweaks, but it turns out I was wrong! This is what has happened
I looked at customer feedback for the shapes and did some slightly edited designs.
I brought in more boobylicious tape, and the feedback was great. Quite a few customers said that a thicker breast form back would really help when removing the tape. This makes absolute sense, and with the extra pressure put on the back of the breast forms, make them stronger too.
I chatted to my factory and we started working on the new designs. It all seemed to be going really well!
Once the moulds for the breast forms were made, we found out that the thicker back was not possible with the kind of machinery the factory has. By this stage, I was really determined that this is the best way forward for my breast forms. I've tried working hard with the factory to make it work, but it has failed.
Undeterred, I have chatted to one of my other factories which make my smaller breast enhancers, and they felt ready to take this step with me, which is very exiting! They share my vision and have the machinery needed to make it a reality, so we just needed to make the moulds. We made a prototype and it was fabulous!
The moulds have now all been designed for all the styles now, apart from teardrop 2.
Finally, we are getting there!
Production is now beginning on teardrop style 1, pear, round and triangle. These will be made first, and sent out asap.
The final design and moulds will begin soon for teardrop style 2. These will then be made ASAP and in my store as soon as I can get them in there.
This process has been so much longer than I planned.
Thank you SO MUCH for your patience and I promise that it will be worth it. The new forms will be soft and supple, strong and designed to sit perfectly, so that I have a perfect option for everyone. I knew that if it was worth doing, it was worth doing well and that you would all trust me, even if it took time, to get it right for you.
In the meantime, I have some breast forms still left, and some sample runs from my departed from factory, so I will get those up in the store for you at some great prices :)
First of all, I've been so happy with hearing how well you've got on with my boobylicous tape, so thank you for all the emails that have helped me see that it was worth the effort of introducing this tape :) It is such a hard balance with tape, with creating the right ratio of stick to not causing discomfort or problems when removing tape. I will never get that balance right for all people, as everyone has different skin types etc and I'd rather be cautious, but your emails show me that the tape has been really helpful to many people and has really opened up the ability to wear less supportive bras and to go bra-less in many cases. I hope I've got a great balance, and the feedback has been really positive so I am so pleased.
You may have also noticed that I've grown the range of tapes that I have, thanks to your feedback. I was approached by many customers asking for a sheet that is bigger, so that it can be cut down exactly to size or trimmed around a smaller breast form or enhancer for the perfect fit. As a result, I introduced my A6 size sheet. For those of you not so familiar with the paper size concept, it's a postcard size of 10cm by 15cm.
I also introduced the strips in normal and wider size of 2.5cm. I love to give you flexibility and choice, as it seems that some customers prefer to use one wider strip rather than 2 thinner ones for some bras/enhancers and this ultimately offers better value. Some enhancers are too small for the wider tape and only need the one narrow strip, so by offering both you can choose exactly what you'd like.
I've also got the discs in 8cm and 11cm sizes, which are perfect for the different size breast forms.
The next step is for me to see if I can get it to release better from the clear backing side, as I know that some of you do struggle to get that side off. I will be working with the factory to see if they can make the tape release easier for you when I do my next big production run of the tape.
Whilst writing this, I've also thought of another thing that might help you...the introduction of a sample pack. If you are going to use the tape then it can be tough to know which would be best I should imagine, especially now I have so much choice with 2 sizes of strips, 2 of discs and the sheet. I know some of you use a combination for the bigger breast forms, so offering a selection pack with a few of each type would perhaps be useful. I'll put together some packs with some of each in, so you can try the different types rather than having to commit straight away to one type of boobylicious tape. I'll get on to working out the best numbers of each for the pack and the price and pop it in the store asap!